Joe Blondo has been driving a taxi in Seattle for a long time – over 25 years, to be exact. Over the course of his quarter-century behind the wheel, he’s rarely been shy about his opinions. And as Election Day in the Emerald City approaches, Blondo is once again letting his feelings be known.
As the debate over upstart ride-share outfits like Lyft, Sidecar and UberX has raged in Seattle, Blondo has been on the frontlines, calling on the city to take action against what he views as a flood of “non-professional” and illegal drivers hitting the streets. Having recently stepped down from the Seattle-King County Taxi Advisory Commission – a position he was appointed to by current Mayor Mike McGinn – Blondo has taken to his “Real Seattle Taxi Blog” to offer endorsements in two key races, with the ride-share debate serving as the background for both.
In the mayor’s race, despite the fact McGinn appointed him to the Taxi Advisory Commission and he’s apparently played basketball against hizzoner at the downtown YMCA in the past, Blondo is urging voters to side with the challenger, Ed Murray. Though his endorsement is “tepid,” he says, Blondo argues that Murray might be cabbies’ “only hope for possible inroads at City Hall.”
See also: The Fight For Seattle’s Fares
“Ed Murray is an unknown other than saying he would ‘call a moratorium’ upon the ride-share services. Whether he actually would I don’t know but at least he pandered, reached out to our industry which is more than I can say regarding anyone else,” writes Blondo.
Perhaps more interestingly, in the battle between four-term incumbent Richard Conlin and Kshama Sawant for Position 2 on the City Council, Blondo is backing the challenger, albeit it with a skeptic’s eye. Of Conlin, Blondo writes: “Over the years I have had some pleasant email exchanges with Richard Conlin. Nice guy.” (As far as I can tell, that about sums up just about everyone’s feelings about Conlin.)
Of Sawant, Blondo goes more philosophical: “With Sawant and others like her I keep thinking about Orwell’s Animal Farm and that final card game. Yikes! Flipping a coin between “ I am a Progressive!” and the self-described “Socialist Economist” I have come up with theory standing on its head. I will be voting for Sawant. If nothing else she will cause trouble for a few sessions before morphing before our eyes into another kind of political creature. If she wins maybe they will build a stall for her, complete with wall to wall hay bales. And supplying her with organic oaken wooden buckets filled with filtered spring water. I wish I had more than one vote!”